Auction Watch #326

In the last Auction Watch I asked, “If even I can be sucked in, then how many other potential buyers have been sucked into the auction game?”

Well, I was quickly out of the bidding. My $25 max bid wasn’t nearly enough. That wasn’t really a huge surprise. Nor was the $270 final price. 2018 saw a similar box sell for $140.07. I expected around $200 – which is where it was until the MRT took over. So $200+ isn’t a huge shocker.

For me the surprise was that only seven other people bid. Really? I would have expected double digit bidders. There are two likely explanations: (1) collectors don’t really care about the box; or (2) the price was already too high when they saw it. I guess a combination of both is also possible.

On Instagram I mentioned a Class A Purple #109 that was ending soon. On this site there isn’t a recorded sale where that figure was, basically, on its own. Professor Terry mentioned one had sold for $43 a few weeks ago (it was actually $41, I wanted to check). That’s why the $96 sale price was so shocking to me.

“Dude, it went up because the loser probably didn’t want to miss the figure again.”

That was my first thought too. But then I looked at the bidding history. The $41 #109 had six bidders. The $96 #109 had four bidders. Only (535) bid in both auctions. In the $41 bidding his top bid was $40. In the $96 bidding his top bid was $85 – but two other people out bid him.

Here’s what I do understand: (535) missed the first time and basically doubled his bid. I can understand that behavior. But two other bidders from leftfield and both of them going over $85?!?!

I’m not suggesting shill bidding. I’m suggesting we might be seeing a new M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting behavior. I just can’t quite figure it out. Purple #109 does not strike me as a $100 figure. I don’t remember many Master Set Fools needing it. So what could explain a sale price like this?

I have two leading theories: (1) prospecting is increasing; or (2) collectors think they are going to start the ultimately quixotic task of becoming a Master Set Fool. If it’s one, then it will pass – and it’s not really a new behavior. It’s just seems to be happening more often. If it is the second option, then please stop. I could go on and on but simply take it from a guy with three figures to go. It’s not worth it. That’s 19 years of experience saying it.

I fear that actually motivates some people. There has never been a worse time to buy figures. I fear these new Fools will wear it as a misappropriated badge of honor. God I hope I’m super wrong.

The first listing, Vintage Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men Action Figure Color Lot Kinnikuman, might help us figure out if we’re seeing some new collecting behavior.

(2515) is, as of writing, currently the top and only bidder. He had a top bid of $55 in the $96 #109 auction. He has already bid three times, as of writing, on this lot. What has him so excited about this lot?

Probably the Class A Light Blue #36. There are also three Class B figures (Green #105, Purple #135, and Magenta #215), but I don’t think anybody cares about those.

Light Blue #36 is not a figure that I think of as one of the more difficult Class A figures to find. However, I have only featured the sale of that figure one time in Auction Watch. And it doesn’t really help to look back at that listing because Light Blue #36 was in a huge lot.

I will be curious to see the level of interest in this figure.

The second listing, Select Toys MUSCLEMANIA Mini Rubber Wrestler Figures Muscle Men 1984, probably won’t get much interest – but it is interesting to me.

Most of the MUSCLEMANIA stuff we have seen lately has been comically overpriced – like the $40 lot from AW #323 or these stupid single figures from AW #315. Of course, nothing has changed with that $40 listing and it remains unsold. In fact, based on this, we haven’t seen a decent MUSCLEMANIA listing since 2018 when a sealed 4-pack sold for $15.

This lot is starting at a much more palatable $9.99, mainly because of the Translucent Green #9 figure.

“I wish I needed some of those figures,” was a thought I almost allowed myself to have. I have way too many of these figures. I would try to sell them, but I imagine the other six people that care about these figures are thinking the same thing.

Maybe I should list some MUSCLEMANIA stuff just to see how far the bottom has dropped? Or maybe just watch this listing to see if anybody cares.

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  1. #1 by Terry on March 25, 2021 - 6:49 am

    Oops, I thought it was $43 for the Purple 109 my mistake 🙂

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